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Militant Forces Against Huntingdon Life Sciences

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Militant Forces Against HLS
Motto"You can expect the MFAH on your doorstep if YOU have links with HLS."[1]
RemarksOriginated in Germany. Focused on closing down HLS, by Militant direct action (by any means necessary)

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Militant Forces Against Huntingdon Life Sciences

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The Militant Forces Against Huntingdon Life Sciences (MFAH), also referred to as Militant Forces Against HLS, is a name used by animal liberationists who carry out militant direct action in an attempt to close down Wikipedia:Huntingdon Life Sciences (HLS), a contract animal testing laboratory founded in England, UK. MFAH were first heard of when they claimed responsibility for vandalising properties of Bayer and Novartis staff in Germany, along with Animal Liberation Front (ALF) activists in 2009.[2] Since then groups have reported over 20 actions from France, Belgium, Germany and most notably in Switzerland, Austria and the UK, such as painting houses, burning vehicles and grave desecration.[3][4][5][6][7][8][9][10][11]

The MFAH is not described as a group, but as a banner for autonomous, covert cells who carry out direct action, including political violence, as part of a campaign of leaderless resistance. Similar to other militant groups such as the Animal Liberation Brigade and Justice Department, activists oppose ALF ideology, instead believing in any necessary action to prevent alleged suffering at HLS, including physical harm.[1]

Mission Statement[edit]

See Militancy, Animal liberation

Released on May 27, 2009, after their 6th attack and little explained about the group, MFAH stated their intentions:

Let it be clear to any company, investors or any kind or link to HLS that we will track you down and come after you. It has come to a point where we must hit hard, strong and effective, to take down the murderers and make them suffer.
It has come to a point where we must take any necessary action to make the murderers stop. And if necessary we are prepared to do physical harm. You can expect the MFAH on your doorstep if YOU have links with HLS.[1]

Huntingdon Life Sciences[edit]

Huntingdon Life Sciences is a contract animal-testing company founded in England, with facilities in Huntingdon, Cambridgeshire; Eye, Suffolk; New Jersey in the U.S., and Japan. HLS conducts tests on around 75,000 animals every year—including rats, rabbits, pigs, dogs, and primates—testing pharmaceutical products, agricultural chemicals, industrial chemicals, and foodstuffs on behalf of private clients worldwide.[12] With over 1,600 staff, it is the largest such commercial operation in Europe.[13]

Huntingdon has been campaigned against since 1999, when British animal rights activists set up Stop Huntingdon Animal Cruelty (SHAC), an international campaign to close the company down. The campaign was started after film shot secretly inside the company by People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals (PETA), and later shown on British television, showed staff punching and laughing at the animals in their care.[14] Since then the company has suffered a severe financial downturn and several of its staff and customers have been subject to direct action that has sometimes been illegal and even violent.[15]



See Animal Liberation Front
The militants were first heard of in Germany in April 2009, when along with the ALF, they claimed to Bite Back Magazine they had vandalised properties of six Bayer staff and a Novartis director, both accused of being HLS clients.[2][16] The following month actions were reported by MFAH against; Sandoz and Sanofi in Germany, NYSE Euronext by MFAH France (at the time HLS' stock brockers), a private sports facility for Novartis workers in France, the property of Schering Plough's Director in Belgium and a Novartis Director in Germany.[1][4][6][17][18] A month later, in France, they reported that Pfizer CEO received a spray painted house and sidewalk.[3]

Novartis CEO[edit]

On the evening of August 2, 2009, MFAH Austria then set fire to Novartis swiss Chairman and CEO Daniel Vasella's hunting lodge in Bach. The militants claimed they had used 60 litres of petrol were placed strategically around the house, with 100 firefighters drawn in to tackle the blaze and MFAH threatening more attacks if Novartis did not severe ties with HLS.[19][20][21] Nearly 3 weeks later, MFAH took responsibility for vandalising the family graves of Daniel Vasella in July and removing an urn.[20] The gravestones were spraypaintd with an anti-HLS slogan and two wooden crosses, featuring the names of Dr Vasella and his wife, were stuck in the ground. Slogans were also previously graffitied on Dr Vasella's church in the home village of Risch.[20] Novartis admitted that there had been an escalation in these types of attacks, with SHAC denying involvement in the case.[8][22]

Highgate Farm[edit]

After ALF volunteers raided Highgate Farm in January 2008, removing 129 rabbits and vandalising vehicles,[23][24] hundreds of activists have protested outside the farm since.[25] In July 2010, MFAH activists burned a Mercedes Sprinter van left at the farm, competely destroying the vehicle.[26] The farm, near Market Rasen, Licolnshire, supplies rabbits to Huntingdon Life Sciences' Cambridgeshire laboratory, and is a primary focus of the SHAC campaign.[27][28]


  1. 1.0 1.1 1.2 1.3 MFAH Communique: May 27th 2009, Bite Back Magazine, May 27th 2009.
  2. 2.0 2.1 MFAH Communique: April 7th 2009, Bite Back Magazine, 7th April 2009
  3. 3.0 3.1 MFAH Communique: July 2nd 2009, Bite Back Magazine, July 2nd 2009.
  4. 4.0 4.1 MFAH Communique: May 18th 2009, Bite Back Magazine, May 18th 2009.
  5. MFAH Communique: May 18th 2009, Bite Back Magazine, May 18th 2009.
  6. 6.0 6.1 MFAH Communique: 25th 2009, Bite Back Magazine, May 25th 2009.
  7. MFAH Communique: January 8th 2010, Bite Back Magazine, January 8th 2010.
  8. 8.0 8.1 MFAH Communique: August 21st 2009, Bite Back Magazine, August 21st 2009.
  9. MFAH Communique: August 5th 2009, Bite Back Magazine, August 5th 2009.
  10. MFAH Communique: July 20th 2010, Bite Back Magazine, July 20th 2010.
  11. MFAH Communique: October 31st 2009, Bite Back Magazine, October 31st 2009.
  12. For the numbers of dogs, rabbits, and non-human primates as of 2006, see "Annual report of research facility", United States Department of Agriculture, 2006, accessed July 9, 2010.
  13. Huntingdon Life Sciences to move back to UK after crackdown on animal rights militants, The Daily Telegraph, 17 January 2009
  14. "Seeing Is Believing – cruelty to dogs at Huntingdon Life Sciences", The Ecologist, March 2001.
  15. Bowcott, Owen. "Court jails Huntingdon animal test lab blackmailers", The Guardian, January 21, 2009.
  16. HLS Clients, SHAC, 2008.
  17. MFAH Communique: May 4th 2009, Bite Back Magazine, May 4th 2009.
  18. MFAH Communique: May 17th 2009, Bite Back Mgazine, May 17th 2009.
  19. MFAH Communique: August 5th 2009, Bite Back Magazine, August 5th 2009.
  20. 20.0 20.1 20.2 Animal rights militants target Novartis pharmaceutical boss Daniel Vasella, The Telegraph, August 5th 2009.
  21. Militant animal_rights_groups_says_behind_Tyrol_arson, Austrian Times, August 6th 2009.
  22. Extremists' attacks on Novartis chief intensify, Times Online, August 7th 2009.
  23. 129 rabbits liberated from lab breeder, SHAC, January 9th 2008.
  24. £70,000 rabbit farm damage charge, This Is Lincolnshire, November 12th 2008.
  25. Police investigate arson attack on van in science lab supplier's yard, This Is Lincolnshire, July 21st 2010.
  26. Mercedes van damaged in Lincolnshire farm arson attack, BBC, July 20th 2010.
  27. Animal rights group claims responsibility for arson attack at Highgate Farm, This Is Lincolnshire, July 23rd 2010.
  28. Opreation Liberation: Demo to close down Highgate Rabbit Farm, 2009.

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